Tips to Marketing in a Recession - Part 6

Gain the Competitive Edge

One component of an effective marketing plan is to accurately know who your competition is.  This can only be done once you are clear about your business' product/service offerings and who your target market is.

Once you know that, the next step is to do your research.  Who is out there offering the same products/services as your company and is competing for the same customers? 

Find out where they advertise, what they are saying is their different/better story, how is their branding compared to your company, is their website is effective, what internet marketing are they doing, what are their prices, etc.  Doing competitive mystery shops will provide a wealth of information.  You can evaulate their response time, customer service, and if you are able to make a purchase from them, it will give you even more valuable information.

Sometimes this is a big task to chew off on your own, so enagaging a professional marketing or mystery shopper company can provide tremendous value.  They will have the mind to think about how to get information out of your compeition that you may not have imagined possible.

Only once you have this important information can you formulate how to brand your company with the proper image and message.  This information will make it clear as to what your different/better story is and how you can gain more market share.  It will enlighten you on opportunities and threats, as well as your own company's strengths and weaknesses.

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